Roy Lichtenstein

In the Car (1963)

About this artwork

This painting is one of a series from the early 1960s in which Lichtenstein deals with the theme of romance. He would paint his works on a monumental scale, much enlarged from his original source material of comic-strip illustrations. This work is based on an image from the comic Girls' Romances. The original illustration included a thought bubble which read, 'I vowed to myself I would not miss my appointment – That I would not go riding with him – Yet before I knew it…' His paintings present archetypal images of contemporary America, simultaneously glamorous, mundane, dramatic and impersonal. Lichtenstein conveys the essence of the time, depicting recognisable 'types', such as the beautiful blonde woman and handsome, square-jawed man seen in this painting.

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  • title: In the Car
  • accession number: GMA 2133
  • artist: Roy LichtensteinAmerican (1923 - 1997)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Pop Art
  • date created: 1963
  • measurements: 172.00 x 203.50 cm (framed: 180.60 x 212.50 x 6.20 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1980
  • copyright: © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/DACS 2016.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein

New York artist Lichtenstein began making paintings inspired by consumer culture as a reaction against the emotional involvement of Abstract Expressionism. He was inspired by comic-strip illustrations, which he enlarged. Although his works may look as if they are made by a machine, Lichtenstein would begin by painting through a perforated metal screen to make the regular pattern of dots, like those used to form areas of colour in magazine pictures. He then painted the solid colour and finally the black outlines. Although he worked in a modern style, the subjects of his work were often traditional, such as portraits, still life, landscapes and genre paintings.

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